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Are you all ready for a new kind of vehicle? Sedans, SUVs, crossovers, even alternative fuel vehicle hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs) have come out over the years. After the first wave of the COVID-19, Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and Kia Motors were in talks of designing Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs), or vehicles purposely built for a single application. Well, that’s all good and well for businesses, delivery services, and mass- or individual-transit. The idea was like a hospital room on wheels, should the need arise when the curve was nowhere near flat. As if doing a 180°, Kia Motors completely changed gears and built a brand-new MultiPurpose Vehicle, named the Kia Carnival. Take a loot at some of the highlights.
Engine Types and Trims
Said to be limited to just four trim levels - LX, EX, SX, and SX-Prestige – Kia kept it simple with a single powertrain combination. All trims come with a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood. Optimized with gasoline direct injection (GDI), and able to produce a best-in-class 290 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. torque, this is a good starting point for an MPV. Not too fast, but powerful enough to tow up to 3500 pounds. The standard transmission is an 8-speed automatic transmission, and speaking of the engineering, the Carnival MPV was built on the same all-new 3rd generation “N3” platform as the capable Sorento and sporty K5. Made specifically to usher out the Kia Sedona minivan, this new MPV is lighter, stronger and quieter than its predecessor.
Exterior and Interior Style
Kia Motors has been teasing a new generation for its vehicle design, starting with the swept back hood that the Kia Stinger made popular, and leading into the front fascia with a new modernized “tiger nose” grille. Now wider and paired with high-tech LED headlamps, Kia doesn’t want this MPV to look like another minivan. The automaker also added on a dramatic hood and brawny wheel arches to match the bold cut lines that run the length of the vehicle.
Encapsulating all kinds of vehicles, the MPV looks aggressive from the front, but large two-tone mirrors and black/chrome rocker panel moldings also lend a bit of an upscale look to it. Followed by the rear, the design of an SUV is all too common with a skid plate garnish and reflectors. Able to drive on 17- and 19-inch wheels, the 2022 Kia Carnival MPV is already looking like a different breed of vehicle.
Inside is no different, able to seat 7- or 8-passengers, there are multiple configurations and uses. With removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats (not removable in SX-Prestige), there is a lot more room. In fact, behind the first row, the LX, EX, and SX trims boast a best-in-class 145.1 cubic-feet of cargo room and a best-in-class 168.2 cubic-feet of passenger room. Plus, depending on whether consumers pick the 7- or 8-seating passenger capacity, the interior completely changes.
If only needing seven seats, the interior cabin turns into a VIP Lounge with power-controlled seating, with heating and ventilation, wing-out headrests, and leg extensions. The eight-seat cabin isn’t something to snuff at either. “Slide-Flex” seating allows for multiple configurations with a sliding second row center seat, so parents can check on young children without dislocating their shoulder by sliding the seat up prior to transit. If not in-use, then the eighth seat can be converted into a functional table between the two second-row seats. UNO, anyone?
What new MPV would be complete without some new tech? In the new 2022 Kia Carnival MPV, the standard setup is an 8-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto also come standard. Select trims can upgrade the standard sound system to a 12 high-performance Bose Premium sound speaker system. Also on select trims is UVO link and UVO link telematics that offers new features for navigation, weather forecasts, individual UVO user accounts and settings, Google and iCloud calendar integration, Last Mile Navigation, Smart Speaker Integration with Amazon-Alexa and/or Google-Assistant functionality for remote functions, and of course the usual mobile app that can also control similar functions.
Kia Motors also knows safety, and beyond the base trim, consumers can find available features like hands-free Smart Power Liftgate with auto-close, Smart Key with one-button open/close functionality for rear sliding doors and liftgate, Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), and Safe Exit Assist. Standard on all but the base is a Rear Passenger View Camera for keeping an eye on rear passengers, Passenger Talk with a new cabin intercom system, Passenger Voice Recognition for numerous in-vehicle functions via voice commands from the rear passengers – like a walkie talkie, a button needs to be pressed to activate it so not everything gets picked up by the microphone. Standard on all trims are Hands-free opening power sliding doors with Smart Key. Standard on the SX and SX-Prestige are Dual Rear Screen Entertainment Monitors with Wireless Apple and Android device screen mirroring.
We can’t wait to get some of these 2022 Kia Carnival MPVs in stock, and Kia Motors claim units will hit dealerships by the second quarter of this year. Check back with us on NowCar social media to find out when the Kia Carnival MPV is in.